As a child, we all wanted to be veterinarians at one point. But at five years old, we had no idea being a vet was more than just carrying dogs around, taking them on walks, feeding them and giving them baths.
We disregard and underestimate the amount of time allotted to studying animals and their behavior. By the time we reach college, taking care of pets might have faded into a hobby. Now that we understand the gist of having a career, there are other vocations that involve handling pets aside from being a veterinarian.
They’re not necessarily at the top of the wage list, but these animal enthusiasts and caretakers are paid pretty generously.
1. Pet Sitter/Day Care
This is an alternative for people who want to take care of dogs, but can’t really do it permanently in their own homes. As long as you’re able, this job can be done by individuals aged 10 and up – younger, even. Especially if they’re experienced and long-time pet owners.
Owners usually hire pet sitters when they’re going out of town or will be out of the house for business. Full-time pet sitters can earn up to $35,000 per year.
2. Dog Walker
More of a job for part-timers, this errand doesn’t take up much time and can be done as a hobby. Not only do you get some exercise in, you also get paid for it. Depending on how big the dog is and the owner’s instructions, this will take just about an hour to half a day at most.
3. Dog Trainer
These people are usually hired when an upcoming dog show or contest is looming. Being a pet trainer requires no formal education, as long as you’re comfortable with pets and vice versa.
Dog trainers are also responsible for teaching animals basic commands, obedience, good pet manners and aiding the disabled. More professional trainers are the ones in charge of training the dogs used to aid the visually impaired or disabled.
4. Veterinary Dentist
Not much of a fur person (either because they trigger your allergies, or you just dislike having to clean up their fur), but love pets? Like humans, a dog’s mouth and teeth are vital to overall health and proper digestion. Although I believe trying to keep a dog’s mouth open for 5 minutes is a much harder feat than keeping a toddle still. They’re also the professionals in charge of determining whether your pet has a balanced diet and taking their vitamins and supplements regularly.
5. Pet Masseuse
Our four-legged furry friends need a break, too. Treat them to their much needed pamper session every few months to loosen up their tired and aging muscles. Healthy pets mean happy owners!
6. Zoologist / Zookeeper
This profession usually requires having a bachelor’s degree in either animal science or biology.
In Bindi Irwin’s case, the Australian Zoo she grew up in was already ran by her parents. At 18 and a devoted wildlife supporter, she follows after her late father Steve Irwin’s footsteps. Riding elephants, playing with pythons and caring for a pet rat are just “normal” happenings for her. If she can do it, so can you.
7. Panda Nanny
Getting hired as a panda nanny is considered the happiest job in the world, in the field of animal care.
Presently there are only about 2,500 pandas left in the wild and they are slowly going extinct due to limited and restricted bamboo supplies and loss of habitat. Panda nannies were being hired to help raise awareness and interest in pandas. Does being a panda nanny include dressing up as one, too? We wouldn’t mind.
8. Laboratory Animal Caretaker
This job is suitable for animal enthusiasts who prefer handling the more scientific and biological aspect of pet care. Instead of being out in the field, you’ll be testing specimens and working inside a lab. If it weren’t for these professionals, you wouldn’t even know what’s really happening to your pet’s immune system. Those symptoms present are already sign of a failing immune system or form of cancer. Your dog’s health goes way further than the just their fur.
9. Animal Cruelty Investigator/Animal Rescue
Let’s just say that Lt. Judy Hopps from Zootopia would be proud to have someone on her side who supports anima safety and rights.
Still not sure if you should hop on the pet care train? The more genuine and enthusiastic you are with your pet, the greater your chances of making it far in the sphere of pet care.
Others may think devoting your life to animal care will not sustain you and won’t pay much. Either way, just think of it as giving back to nature and Mother Earth.